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GoPro works to stem losses with 'connected and convenient' Hero5

Facing increasingly fierce competition in the industry it helped create, GoPro this week announced plans to simplify its product line and innovate on usability, with what CEO Nick Woodman called "the most connected and convenient GoPro we have ever made."


GoPro's Hero4 Session has become a best seller after a rocky introduction.


A significant year-over-year decline in revenue has sent GoPro leadership into damage control mode, and the first order of business is to axe the lower-end Hero, Hero+, and Hero+ cameras. The range will now start at $200 with the Hero4 Session, then run upwards to the $400 Hero4 Silver and $500 Hero4 Black.

The long-awaited Hero5 will makes its debut later this year, Woodman revealed during GoPro's earnings call, though it's not clear exactly what "later" means. When it does arrive, it will be the first GoPro to benefit from the company's new strategy of paying closer attention to how its cameras fit into a broader ecosystem of devices.

"In terms of doubling down in hardware we are ensuring that any new and existing hardware products do a better job of connecting to smartphones and the cloud," Woodman said. "Any advancements in software will be matched at the hardware level."

Those software advancements will come in the form of a new "GoPro for Desktop" application that makes it easier for consumers to collate, organize, and edit their GoPro footage. Woodman promised "an entirely new editing experience...[that] will make it easy to create strikingly good edits in a matter of minutes," along with the ability to easily share footage to social media platforms.

The originator of the "action cam" format, GoPro is now just one of a dozen companies selling rugged cameras for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Everyone from Sony to China's Xiaomi has gotten into the game, driving prices —and consequently, margins —down.

GoPro also announced that its forthcoming Karma drone will be available this summer, and that the company is aiming for a "significantly differentiated" UAV experience.

"I think that we're uniquely positioned to be successful out of the gates with Karma given the strength of GoPro's brand in the drone category," Woodman said. "The drone category —the consumer drone category really took off not because of drones but because of people attaching GoPro's to drones."